{ Hi! I'm Mike }
I'm a core developer with The Horde Project and a founding parter of Horde LLC - the company behind the world's most flexible groupware platform. This is my personal blog full of random thoughts about development and life in general.
May 9, 2007

Some new work on Ansel

This website is powered by the Horde Application Framework as well as some of the project's applications, such as Ansel for the images, Agora for comments and Jonah for the news content.  I've had to add a number of features to these applications in order to do what I wanted to do with this site.  Most of the work was done on the apis of the applications so I can get the data I need out of them for display on this site.

Currently, I've been busy adding some new features to the Ansel application itself.

Chuck, from the Horde Project, had recently rewritten the slide show code and combined the slide show and image views.  This fixed a few bugs and simplified the code.  I helped by finishing up the implementation by making sure that the links for the image properties and actions were updated with each new image that was displayed.  The comments were a different story, as they needed to be fetched from Agora's api with each image change.  This was the first bit of 'AJAX' type functionality that I have attempted within Horde, and it appears to have worked out well.

Some new capabilities have also been added that allow retrieving recently added as well as most commented images.  The latter change prompted some improvements to the Agora api to allow retrieving information on multiple forums with a single api call.  These new features are demonstrated with the two new Horde_Blocks that are availble for Ansel.  Hovering over the image titles in these blocks, will also show a thumbnail preview of each image in a small pop-up element.

Finally, I'm currently working on adding a "tag" feature to a number of the Horde applications.  Since I've been working with Ansel most recently, I started with that.  It's mostly finished now, and is a slightly different way of tagging than most other image applications offer.  It's been implemented as a way to truly browse your images. It offers a 'tag hierarchy'.  The best way of describing it is as if each tag is a folder that is dynamically built with each further selection. You choose your first tag, "Birthday" and see 100 images tagged with it.  Then, you see a list of 'related tags' that will further refine your search...you select "Mike" and see the 25 images out of the previous 100 that are tagged with BOTH "Birthday" and "Mike". You can navigate down as far as the number of tags will let you go.  You can also remove any single tag from your "tag trail" at any time and modify your criteria.

Next up, will probably be adding similar tagging features to the Jonah application..then maybe Trean, the Bookmark manager.�